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Optimal Migration: A World Perspective

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  • Jess Benhabib
  • Boyan Jovanovic

Abstract

We ask what level of migration would maximize world welfare. Welfare is assumed to be a weighted average of the utilities of the world’s various citizens, but the weights are also country specific. Using a calibrated one‐sector model, we find that unless the weights are heavily biased toward the natives of rich countries, the extent of migration that would be optimal far exceeds the levels observed today. The claim remains true in a two‐sector extension of the model. All versions of the model assume that migration is the only redistributive tool.

Suggested Citation

  • Jess Benhabib & Boyan Jovanovic, 2012. "Optimal Migration: A World Perspective," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 53(2), pages 321-348, May.
  • Handle: RePEc:wly:iecrev:v:53:y:2012:i:2:p:321-348
    DOI: 10.1111/j.1468-2354.2012.00683.x
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    • O1 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development

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